By Laura Kressly
Musical theatre excels at turning an otherwise serious subject into an extravaganza of high camp. Though it’s easy to dismiss such approaches as light and frivolous, SpitLip – a new company formed by members from Kill the Beast and Felix Hagen & the Family – tell the true story of a British intelligence operation with plenty of panache and satirical social commentary (and heaps of high camp) in this smashing new show.
by Amy Toledano
Post-World War II, the city of Paris is putting itself back together. People go to work, people get married, people get by. Monsieur Dusoleil (Gary Tushaw) epitomises this attitude, working harder than the other clerks in the office, and yet, he feels the sting of loneliness. Amongst the other tortured, Parisian souls is Isabelle (Anna O’Byrne), a woman married off much too young and trapped by a much older man, known simply as the Prosector (Alasdair Harvey).
by Louis Train
When I told my mother I was moving to Russia, she sighed and reminded me that to her, Eastern Europe was a cemetery. Her grandparents had fled during the Russian Civil War, and her parents had grown up watching details of the Holocaust emerge, night by night, like a dark beacon announcing the violent and final end of Jewish life in Eastern Europe.
by an anonymous guest critic
The Vaults is the ideal venue for what is essentially a one-woman, Weimar era Cabaret show.
Stephanie Ware plays Eva Von Schnippisch, a hard-drinking, fun-loving cabaret performer in wartime Berlin. We learn about Eva’s rise to become one of Berlin’s top night club performers, which leads to the British secret service recruiting her to do undercover work gathering intelligence in the fight against Germany.
by guest critic Gregory Forrest
I really wanted to love this.
A new musical about gay men under Mussolini (politically, if not physically) sounds so exciting. Silvio Berlusconi’s claim that ‘Mussolini never killed people, just sent them to holiday camps’ brushes off the dark reality of imprisonment, violence, and unrecorded deaths. Yet by clearing out the closet, government officials gave gay men in particular the freedom to live openly and form tentative relationships in their Mediterranean exile. It was a queerly liberating sea breeze.
by Laura Kressly
On the phone with his agent, an old man’s mind wanders to his youth. The shadows of WWI stretched across Europe and Russia, but it’s in these dark times that the now-aged painter met a beautiful writer. Falling in love with her was like flying.
Oskar is a child of myth and legend. Or maybe he’s just bad-tempered and noisy. Either way, he comes into a fictional world of darkening shadows that’s clearly pre-WWII Europe. Born with a fully adult brain, he looks down on most people around him but has simple, childish request – that his mother buys him a tin drum.